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Using the Bézier Pen tool

From: QuarkXPress 8 Essential Training

Video: Using the Bézier Pen tool

The Bezier Pen tool in QuarkXPress 8 has been dramatically simplified and now behaves very much like the Pen tool in Adobe applications. With a few fluid motions, you can draw just about any shape imaginable. If you prefer a less structured approach to drawing, you can use the Freehand tool. If you can't draw at all, you can convert text or basic shapes to editable items that you can even fill with an image or text. First, we'll look at how to use the Freehand tool to scribble out a line and then we'll explore the Bezier Pen tool to create smooth lines. You'll find the Bezier Pen tool right here in the toolbox. If you click-and-hold on it, you'll notice that there are several options to work with related to the Bezier Pen tool.

Using the Bézier Pen tool

The Bezier Pen tool in QuarkXPress 8 has been dramatically simplified and now behaves very much like the Pen tool in Adobe applications. With a few fluid motions, you can draw just about any shape imaginable. If you prefer a less structured approach to drawing, you can use the Freehand tool. If you can't draw at all, you can convert text or basic shapes to editable items that you can even fill with an image or text. First, we'll look at how to use the Freehand tool to scribble out a line and then we'll explore the Bezier Pen tool to create smooth lines. You'll find the Bezier Pen tool right here in the toolbox. If you click-and-hold on it, you'll notice that there are several options to work with related to the Bezier Pen tool.

There is the Bezier Pen tool, which lets you add and remove points and create new lines. There is the Add Point tool, the Remove Point tool, the Convert Point tool, from sharp to curvy, the Scissors tool for cutting paths, the Select Point tool that lets you adjust paths very easily and the Freehand Drawing tool that we're about to see. The Freehand Drawing tool works very much like a pencil. You simply click-and-drag to make the shape you're interested in. When you let go, Quark converts it into a nice smooth Bezier path.

Now because this is just a standard QuarkXPress path, you can do everything to it that you could do to any other path: you can give it a nice thick stroke of any color and you can even type text on the path, just double-click the path and begin typing. Now if you're like me and your freehand skills are fairly limited, you might want to use the Pen tool to draw nice smooth shapes in a more structured way. I'll move this shape out of the way for now and we'll create a new Bezier pen path.

I'm going to click on the Bezier Pen tool. Once you have the Bezier Pen tool, you can just click, click, click, click to create straight line segments. When you get back to the beginning, it will automatically connect the beginning and the end if you click on your first point. This can be really handy if you're trying to create a random object for text run-around. If you need to make a line that's got some smooth curves in it, you just use the Pen tool and click-and-drag. As you drag, you notice these handles appear. As you click again and drag, more handles appear.

The anchor point indicates a change point and the handles determine the angle and the shape of the curve. I'll click again here and now we have a nice wavy line. If you want to convert an anchor point to a corner point, just hold down the Option or Alt key and click on it. If you want to move a point while you're using the Pen tool, just hold down the Command key or the Ctrl key on Windows and click-and-drag. Now if you don't want to remember the Option key, the Alt key, the Command key or the Ctrl key, you can always go back to the Pen set and choose the Convert Point tool to convert a smooth point to a corner point or vice versa.

You can choose the Select Point tool to click-and-drag points into new locations. Now what if you want to add or remove a point from a path? You can either use one of these two tools to do it or if you're still using the Pen tool, you can simply click on a segment to add a point. You see how the little plus sign appears next to the pen cursor? When I click, a new point is made. Now notice it turns to a minus. That's because, if I click on a point with my Pen tool, I can remove it. Now there is one more function available, Select Point tool, i.e., if you have a point on your path, as I showed you before, you can click-and-drag it to move it, but notice on this particular point that the two control handles are not equal.

If you want to make this into a symmetric curve point, just Option-click or Alt-click on it with this tool. I'm holding down the Option key and clicking and notice how it makes that point nice and smooth again. The final tool to look at in the Pen tool set is the Scissors tool. With the Scissors tool, you simply click on a path to cut it. Now we have two paths we can work with. I'm extremely impressed with how Quark has improved the usability of the Bezier Pen tools, which have actually been available in QuarkXPress since version 4. These tools are useful not only for creating paths like this but also for editing existing objects on your page such as text that you've converted into boxes or any other shape that you've made.

You can use the Pen tool to draw interesting shapes on your existing layouts or you can create a brand-new little layout, make your shapes on it and save it in EPS or PDF format for use in other programs.

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This video is part of

Image for QuarkXPress 8 Essential Training
QuarkXPress 8 Essential Training

120 video lessons · 8357 viewers

Jay Nelson
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 5m 17s
    1. Welcome
      51s
    2. Using the exercise files
      54s
    3. What is QuarkXPress?
      3m 32s
  2. 39m 1s
    1. Getting started
      2m 26s
    2. Managing files in Quark
      9m 52s
    3. Exploring the QuarkXPress interface
      11m 22s
    4. Restoring, reverting, and undoing
      4m 9s
    5. Navigating your layout
      6m 45s
    6. Adding and moving pages
      4m 27s
  3. 51m 57s
    1. Understanding items and contents
      4m 54s
    2. Making boxes and lines
      6m 32s
    3. Putting text on a path
      8m 48s
    4. Moving and locking items
      1m 44s
    5. Resizing, reshaping, rotating, and flipping items
      2m 33s
    6. Duplicating items
      3m 25s
    7. Deleting items
      1m 49s
    8. Using the Bézier Pen tool
      4m 20s
    9. Converting text to boxes
      2m 4s
    10. Understanding relationships between items
      4m 53s
    11. Merging shapes
      2m 1s
    12. Setting item styles
      5m 13s
    13. Using Item Find/Change
      3m 41s
  4. 30m 55s
    1. Reviewing the Layers palette
      8m 12s
    2. Utilizing guides and rulers
      4m 16s
    3. Understanding Guide Manager Pro
      5m 24s
    4. Using frames, dashes, and stripes
      4m 57s
    5. Setting libraries
      5m 18s
    6. Appending settings
      2m 48s
  5. 39m 57s
    1. Building a new layout
      3m 40s
    2. Creating projects and layouts
      4m 48s
    3. Working with Master Pages
      2m 44s
    4. Creating automatic text boxes
      3m 15s
    5. Working with Master Pages and Layout Pages
      5m 15s
    6. Making pages
      6m 1s
    7. Modifying your pages
      2m 5s
    8. Using automatic page insertion
      2m 44s
    9. Using automatic page numbering and "continued"
      4m 45s
    10. Working with sections and page numbering
      3m 29s
    11. Building with multipage spreads
      1m 11s
  6. 25m 5s
    1. Navigating through a layout
      1m 49s
    2. Selecting text
      4m 41s
    3. Deleting text
      1m 4s
    4. Changing text case
      59s
    5. Importing text
      4m 39s
    6. Exporting text
      2m 52s
    7. Showing invisible characters
      2m 6s
    8. Using the Glyph panel
      4m 27s
    9. Working with ligatures
      2m 28s
  7. 10m 50s
    1. Finding and changing
      6m 3s
    2. Using Spell Check
      4m 47s
  8. 35m 27s
    1. Understanding basic character formatting
      4m 15s
    2. Setting color, shade, and transparency
      2m 36s
    3. Using horizontal and vertical scaling
      3m 55s
    4. Setting kerning and tracking
      7m 38s
    5. Inserting typographic special effects
      7m 53s
    6. Adjusting font preferences and open-type fonts
      5m 32s
    7. Finding a missing font
      3m 38s
  9. 29m 29s
    1. Applying basic paragraph formatting
      3m 10s
    2. Applying leading to paragraphs
      5m 7s
    3. Establishing paragraph rules
      3m 4s
    4. Setting tabs
      6m 14s
    5. Setting hyphenation and justification
      3m 41s
    6. Understanding widow and orphan control
      3m 54s
    7. Working with hanging characters
      4m 19s
  10. 27m 53s
    1. Linking items together
      3m 58s
    2. Learning about style sheets
      1m 52s
    3. Creating style sheets
      3m 57s
    4. Editing style sheets
      4m 24s
    5. Applying styles
      3m 40s
    6. Deleting styles
      2m 7s
    7. Appending styles
      3m 17s
    8. Using grids
      4m 38s
  11. 22m 55s
    1. Building tables
      3m 19s
    2. Importing Excel tables
      3m 13s
    3. Working with tables
      5m 25s
    4. Formatting tables
      2m 50s
    5. Splitting tables with headers and footers
      3m 19s
    6. Adding graphics
      2m 41s
    7. Converting a table to text or a group
      2m 8s
  12. 14m 34s
    1. Building books
      5m 20s
    2. Creating lists
      5m 2s
    3. Building an index
      4m 12s
  13. 23m 18s
    1. Importing pictures
      4m 50s
    2. Working with pictures
      2m 48s
    3. Mastering picture management
      3m 50s
    4. Editing and exporting pictures
      2m 48s
    5. Looking into preview quality and greeking images
      5m 18s
    6. Exporting a page as EPS
      3m 44s
  14. 12m 25s
    1. Working with Photoshop documents
      4m 44s
    2. Understanding the Style menu
      3m 3s
    3. Building picture effects
      4m 38s
  15. 10m 54s
    1. Working with text runaround
      7m 32s
    2. Setting anchored boxes
      3m 22s
  16. 32m 4s
    1. What You See and What You Get
      2m 42s
    2. Describing color
      3m 28s
    3. Specifying color
      7m 13s
    4. Creating color blends
      5m 15s
    5. Setting opacity
      4m 55s
    6. Using color from outside sources
      1m 55s
    7. Understanding color management and proofing
      6m 36s
  17. 15m 8s
    1. Synchronizing items
      3m 11s
    2. Building composition zones
      4m 8s
    3. Working in shared layouts
      2m 25s
    4. Understanding job jackets
      5m 24s
  18. 15m 21s
    1. Collecting for output and exporting
      1m 14s
    2. Adjusting basic printer settings
      3m 39s
    3. Reviewing advanced printer settings
      8m 44s
    4. Establishing print styles
      1m 44s
  19. 16m 10s
    1. Creating and exporting a PDF
      4m 4s
    2. Creating PDF output styles
      1m 44s
    3. Building hyperlinks in interactive PDFs
      4m 23s
    4. Adding bookmarks for interactive PDFs
      5m 59s
  20. 20m 58s
    1. Building a web page
      4m 12s
    2. Inserting hyperlinks in a document
      3m 18s
    3. Creating a form for HTML
      2m 54s
    4. Exporting and importing as HTML
      5m 20s
    5. Building Flash projects
      5m 14s
  21. 6m 15s
    1. Working with XTensions
      3m 2s
    2. Scripting in QuarkXPress 8
      3m 13s
  22. 13s
    1. Goodbye
      13s

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